20 December 2007

What Does Kim Jong Il Do in December?

Kim's public appearances by year for the month of December (2007 runs through Dec. 19)

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has paid 8 visits to military units this December (up through December 19), and on nearly all occasion Kim was accompanied by KPA Generals Hyon Chol Hae and Ri Myong Su, who are frequently seen on Kim’s inspection trips.

The eight visits to military units thus far puts Kim on track to make this a banner December for military inspections. From 1998 through 2002, Kim usually inspected three military units in December. From 2003 to the present, he has shifted to an average of eight unit inspections in December, and he is set to exceed that number this year. Overall Kim has paid 29 inspection visits to military units this year.

In terms of other guidance or "appreciation" or artistic performances, Kim was particularly active in economic guidance in December 2005 (six visits) and 2000 (four visits). He has made no economic visits this December (barring a visit to a military-run cotton production unit on December 6). In 2001 and 2002, Kim met with Russian officials in December, but aside from that, his diplomatic calendar is usually quiet at the end of the year.

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